European Committee Minutes Feb. 2017

Minutes

Monthly EC Teleconference

4 February, 2017

14:00 p.m. CET

Please notify the secretary at EU-Secretary@adultchildren.org with changes, additions, or motions for this meeting.

 

A.  Call to Order:  Please be sure that any background noises in your area are eliminated since the sounds make it difficult for participants to hear.  When speaking, please say your name first. This will help us record your name with your input.  Thank you.

1)  Open with the Serenity Prayer

2)  Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.

 

B.  Roll Call of European Countries:  

Jeffrey, Prague, Czech Republic, EU Finance and Literature Sub-Committee Chair/WSO Board Trustee;

Majbrit, Denmark, WSO Vice Chair/European Chair

                                                           

C.  Quorum Established

 

D. Guests:Michael, Ireland

Hanna, Finland

Hanne, Finland

Linda, Latvia

Marthy, Netherlands

Alexia, Germany

Alex, United Kingdom

Non-committee members are welcome to listen to this teleconference but are requested to remain silent unless asked to participate. We respectfully request that guests hold their comments until the end of the meeting. If someone needs to talk further, they may do so after the end of the meeting.

 

E. Announcements

  • Norway Fellowship Progress
    Majbrit is pleased to report that the Norway fellowship is progressing very rapidly. She has sent them some Danish literature. The Norway fellowship has started about four new meetings and they have plans for a convention in June. Majbrit has been invited to speak about the WSO and the service structure to help them set up a healthy service structure. She has plans to speak with Larry about how to simplify the 12 service concepts and traditions so that if you are not a native English speaking person it is easier to adopt. From a cultural standpoint, it is very hard for some countries to adopt the service concepts and set up a healthy structure.
  • Copywrite and Intellectual Property Laws
    Majbrit is in the middle of working with different fellowships regarding copywrite laws and adopting outside literature. This topic will be discussed in more detail later in the call
  • Literature Updates
    • Jeffrey updated the group on the Russian BRB. The book is in the process of being designed. This will take place in Russia. They are close to selecting a company to do this.
    • The Greek meditation book is still being worked on. The size of the book is still being discussed. The aim is to have the book conform to European standards. From there, Robin can work on the layout and formatting. The expected print date is sometime this year.
    • The contract for printing the Finish yellow workbook is in the process of being finalized. Jeffrey will travel to Latvia to meet with the printer to show them the size of the book and talk about how to move forward. Jeffrey will also be speaking at the 2nd Annual ACA Latvia Conference. He plans to speak about initiatives within the Czech Republic to reach out to hospitals and institutions. He will also be visiting Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland before reaching Latvia.
    • Jeffrey explained the current situation with Amazon. There have been a number of issues from both the EC/WSO and Amazon side. To resolve these problems, the EC has entered into an agreement with experienced professionals qualified to help streamline the process and speed up the availability of physical literature on Amazon.co.uk. Majbrit reminded everyone that as the fellowship grows and expands in Europe, everything the EC and WSO is doing is new. It hasn’t been done before and some growing pains are to be expected. Everyone on the board is doing a service and patience is appreciated.

F. Copywrite and Intellectual Property Discussion

The following points were made regarding copywrite law and intellectual property:

  • Majbrit expressed her belief that many fellowships struggle with understanding copywrite law and intellectual property as a result of people bring the ACA program to their country at a time when there was no printed literature. Prior to this, countries had all sorts of programs that could be adapted into Adult Children. As an ACA, she has come to know that there are a lot of people who are afraid of change. If they have been doing step work one way, they want to continue doing it in that way. Adopting new books and getting new literature can be very scary. From her point of view, she did the step work with a book by Friends in Recovery. It was scary making the transition.
  • There is a lot of confusion around the fourth tradition: “Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or ACA as a whole. We cooperate with all other Twelve-Step programs.” This tradition does not mean that people are licensed to do whatever they want. This is not a question of people policing other people, but of conference approved literature. In 2010, the WSO decided that we would only have conference approved literature because of the large amount of literature out there. This literature was ACA related, but it was not written by ACA as a fellowship.
  • In the US, copywrite is a big problem. You can’t take a book, make it your own, and then call it ACA because someone else owns the copywrite. Conference approved literature is our (ACA) own literature. We also own the intellectual property. This means the content contained within the book is also ACA property. If anybody tries to rewrite it or use it under a different name, that violates copywrite law.
  • Jeffrey explained that he and Majbrit are in the middle of resolving an ongoing copywrite dispute with a 12 step group in Europe. They have been adapting/using ACA literature without WSO permission. This situation is very similar to what is probably happening across Europe with other 12 step programs similar to ACA.
  • Jeffrey emphasized that they are not discouraging translation work. The idea is that it needs to be done in a proper way with cooperation from WSO. He understands that for years there was no one in Europe to help facilitate this process, but that is no longer the case. Furthermore, they are working to clarify the translation agreement and streamline the process of entering into one.
  • Intellectual Property lawyers the WSO has on retainer are researching the WSO’s global copywrite position from the perspective of the US. This is a result of the fellowship growing globally.
  • The WSO is bound by copywrite laws to protect its copywrite. 
  • The realization that the program is best conducted in the language of your inner child is a very recent one. Previously, the assumption was that the book was read in English and then people shared in their native language. The largest chunk of ACA literature is American literature. This means that cultural aspects that are unique to an ACA may not be reflected in the literature. Getting these aspects into the literature is a big part of the translation process. Majbrit gave the example of how the shares in the BRB regarding success and the “American dream” don’t really resonate with people in Denmark because the values are different. Ideally there should be different shares for different countries, but that task is too large, so the next best solution is to be bold during translation so that the themes and ideas are relatable to whoever is reading it in their own language.

G. Open Discussion

  • Jeffrey directed people to http://acawsoec.com to learn more about the 2nd Annual ACA Latvia conference.
  • Michael asked how to get information onto the EC website. For now, Jeffrey says to send all announcements to him, but in the future, it will be set up so that emails can be sent to Roderick directly to post content onto the website.
  • Hanna updated the group on translation work in Finland. A group of people want to make a translation of the meditation book. They ordered the books in English and are looking forward to getting it started. 
  • Alex asked about how to put up information on the country pages. Jeffrey responded by stating that the format is still a work in progress. He asks that everyone wait for the outline before sending in information.
  • Marthy announced he is the chair of the intergroup working on translation in the Netherlands. He is trying to get the translation project back on track.
  • Majbrit expressed that the WSO needs to work harder on creating a system where in progress translations are given to the WSO so that if work stops, they can pass it on to the next group when it starts up again. Currently, there isn’t a repository of things that have been translated and it is badly needed. She plans to talk to Larry about this.
  • Alex recounted when she first started going to ACA meetings and there were only four pieces of literature that explained ACA. She suggested that it might be a good idea to have those four pieces translated first as they are very basic. Majbrit thanked her for the suggestion and added that everyone is heavily encouraged to translate the Problem, the Solution, the Laundry List, and ACA is… Because the EC fought to get the trifolds available for free, they are available on the ACA website. When it states that it’s not an approved translation, that means that it hasn’t been verified by a US translator. However, it’s approved by the intergroup of a local country, that is good enough. Everyone is encouraged to translate this literature into their own language, but you should still enter into a translation agreement. The English language trifolds are also available for download on the EC website.
  • The emails for the country representatives are still being worked on. Majbrit asked for each country representative to provide the EC with an email address they want to have emails from the country page accounts forwarded too. For example, an email to france@acawsoec.com will go to your forwarding address.

H. Meeting Closed

Jeffrey motioned to close the meeting and it was seconded. The meeting was closed with the Serenity Prayer.

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